State-of-the-art school wins design award

Jesmond Gardens Primary School pupils (left to right) Jessica Dodd, Georgina Wallis, Bethany Bage and Layla Fitzgerald.  Picture by FRANK REID
Jesmond Gardens Primary School pupils (left to right) Jessica Dodd, Georgina Wallis, Bethany Bage and Layla Fitzgerald. Picture by FRANK REID

AN innovative Hartlepool primary school has won an award in a prestigious competition for its clever design.

The new £7m Jesmond Gardens Primary School which opened last summer beat over 60 of the region’s most impressive new buildings to claim the honour.

It won the Community Benefit award at this year’s North East Renaissance Awards staged by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Judges praised Jesmond Garden Primary School’s flexible use of space for learning instead of conventional classrooms giving pupils greater confidence and independence.

It uses the latest technology such as iPads to help pupils learn and their rule of not wearing shoes indoors helps create a low-stress, respectful environment.

The land around the school has also been creatively landscaped with a variety of habitat zones, mini woodlands and wildflower areas.

Canopies on the outside of the building provide additional sheltered learning areas and there is also an amphitheatre for outdoor school performances.

Jesmond Gardens headteacher Jane Loomes said: “We are thrilled to have won this prestigious award in the face of tough competition from over 60 of the region’s most impressive new building projects, and the accolade comes hot on the heels of our recent commendation in the Civic Trust Awards.

“We are tremendously proud of our new school and the exciting opportunities which it provides not just for our pupils but for the local community as a whole. Working with Hartlepool council and the architects ADP, we have created a wonderful school which is second-to-none.”

The contest, held in Newcastle, celebrates inspirational initiatives in land, property and construction and has eight different categories.

Judges hailed the school as “hugely beneficial” to the local community and has won recognition from education chiefs in other countries including Australia.

Councillor Cath Hill, cabinet member for children’s services, added: “This inspiring school is the pride of the area.

“Many congratulations to everyone involved on this further award, which is richly deserved.”